Re: which bbl mfg?
This is just a personal decision, which I have not made, yet, but, I will steer away from Broughton simply for ethical reasons due to a bit if intel I've heard that seemed a bit shady. I have no idea if it is true, so this is my personal choice, but I believe it.
This is unfortunate b/c I have a Broughton bbl on a rifle that is a real shooter, but it was made by Greg Richards, the owner of Broughton barrels prior to North.
FWIW, I have had a few lengthy talks with a few smiths that have been doing this for almost as long as I've been alive and the short answer is it doesn't matter where you get the barrel. Either it will shoot or it won't. I've been in AZ and watched a few guys nail some fantasy groups with hunting rifles that sport Douglas bbls. at 500 meters.
I have had success with Lilja, Shilen, Hart, Broughton-Richards, PacNor. I have 3 Kriegers that will be at my doorstep Monday, tomorrow as well as 2 Obermeyers. I will be placing an order with Bartlein before 10am.
I spoke with a smith that has been to both Krieger and Bartlein facilities. He stated that he was most impressed with Bartlein's new CNC set up and the finish in the bore, even though there is no denying Krieger's reputation. This is a man who's been doing this for a lot of years and his new favorite barrels are from Bartlein. A top smith in PA who also makes actions only uses to barrel makers now: Hart and Bartlein.
I would bet money that if you went with Obermeyer, Krieger, Bartlein, Hart, Lilja, Broughton, or even PacNor, you would never know the difference. Just be sure to use a reputable smith who makes every rifle as though it is his own, and is the last one he'll ever shoot.
Last edited by Derek M.; 08-17-2008 at 11:24 PM.